Josh looks at Abou Diaby

For some, this may be a controversial article but I felt the need to write it when I saw all the criticism Diaby received after the United game.  Let’s put things into perspective quickly; everyone bar United fans and Fergie knew that we deserved to win the game, with only a nightmare 5 minute spell costing us.  One of the main reasons for this was the way our midfield managed to move the ball, dominate possession and provide impetus going forward.
The man who had the biggest influence on this was Diaby himself.  I am baffled by some of the fans who now are calling him a waste of space and a bottler.  It sums up the knee jerk reactions that characterise some of the current Arsenal fans.  It was a mistake, granted it was a costly one, but all players make them.  Carlton Cole made a similar howler last weekend against Spurs but it did not take away from his overall performance.  West Ham fans do not suddenly want him out, they have got behind him.
Diaby was immense at Old Trafford.  He was a real powerful force, something we have missed since Vieira, and something fans have been crying out for.  However, one mistake is threatening to potentially create a similar relationship to the one Eboué had with the fans 9 months ago.  I find it ridiculous that people forget how well he played; actually how well he has played during the last 3 games.
On countless occasions Diaby drove forward with the ball and caused panic within the Man Utd defence.  He played with confidence and carried the ball with consummate ease at times, as well as tackling strongly.  Had he not scored the own goal, people would have been praising him.  I am not denying that he made a horrible mistake but I feel Diaby has started to prove his critics wrong.  He has played a run of games, he has shown his potential and is now looking something like the player Wenger has said he can be.  Fans must not threaten to ruin his confidence now.
Having a player like Diaby in the side offers something new.  It is not Fabregas’ game to run at teams and force openings, although he did at Everton.  Cesc looks to use his penetrative passing to create attacking openings.  Teams know this and often look to close him down and stifle his threat.  Having Diaby alongside him creates a problem for the opposition.  In the knowledge that Diaby will look to run at them and force things to happen, players know that they cannot concentrate on Cesc as Diaby can hurt them.  Arshavin helps the team out in a similar way with his constant threat and Diaby is lucky to have this attribute.
In a 4-3-3 system he is given the license to roam and I feel Wenger is spot on to keep faith in Diaby.  I have not always been in support of Diaby when writing on Arsenalinsider, generally due to his injury problems, but if he can continue this form and fitness, he can be a big player for us.  His drive and positivity has been lacking and his pace on the counter is exceptional.  Also his character seems to be pretty good.  Cast your minds back to the minute directly after the own goal…
Diaby popped up just outside the United area, hungry to redeem himself.  He continued to terrorise Vidic and Brown as he had done all game by going past both of them with awesome close control.  Only a dragged shot prevented him cancelling out his error immediately.  Many players would go into their shell after an O.G but Diaby got straight back up and looked to remedy it.  I have outmost praise for a player like this, and he has the character of a player I want in my team’s squad.
I have never been Diaby’s biggest fan, but I felt the need to write this article, not to cause controversy, but to try and show people that one mistake does not define a player.  All players make mistakes but it is how they recover from it.  I believe Diaby has the ability to come back from this.  He needs to show he can stay fit and then he will be ready to be a big player this season.

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